He has also released four solo records under his own name which run the dial from wistful folk to explosive, stripped-down pop. From Germany to the U.S. to Australia, Chris has released records on labels the world over in the 25 years he’s been making music.
“Chris Page perfectly skirts the line of punk rock and folk while playing pop songs on his acoustic guitar…Page’s latest solo release, his fourth, Volume Vs. Voice, was one of my favourite of 2015, not just in Ottawa but period. Chris Page is a must see for fans of The Weakerthans and for people who love it any time a punk rock soul finds himself behind an acoustic guitar.” – Ottawa Showbox, 2016
.: Chris live at Ottawa Bluesfest. Photo copyright Blurasis/Ming Wu .:
High praise for Chris’s latest LP, “Volume Vs. Voice”:
“This is a clever honest album, true to its title, worth taking the trouble with the journey of understanding.” – Americana UK
“PICK OF THE WEEK: The interplay between acoustic and electric guitars is masterful with the electric never overpowering, only enhancing. Chris’ voice also really stands out as it seems to teeter on the edge without ever stepping off. Lyrical content is rich and personal. All in all, this record is a win.” – Cups N Cakes Podcast
“…one of the best discs of the year.” – Michael Doherty’s Music Log
“…while each song is its own unique entity, Page’s earnest vocals, honest lyrics and steadfast guitar work are the unwavering strings that weave the whole record together.” – Exclaim!
“…if gruff-voiced and heartfelt gritty songs are up your alley, check out Volume Vs. Voice.” – New Canadian Music
“A troubadour that sounds as at home penning introspective acoustic songs, like those heard on his new album, as he is indulging in punk-inspired rock and roll.” – The Music Nerd
“…a slowed-down, finger-picking-laden, emotionally-charged acoustic album…The album is beautiful, a reflection of the scenery in which it was recorded.” – Ottawa Showbox
“The combination of Page’s earnest vocals and acoustic guitar blend well to create catchy folk-punk tunes.” – Apt 613
“…while he’s turned down the volume the songs are still distinctly in his own voice.” – Gray Owl Point
Volume Vs. Voice on 2015 yearend lists:
It’s amazing to me that it’s been 20 years since I first penned The Stand GT’s ‘Sugarbuzz’, a song that pays homage to landscaping, eating candy and the mighty CKCU! This community radio station has been such a great supporter of my music over the years.
The hardworking folks at Ottawa Showbox continue to cheerlead, support and generally be an integral part helping grow and cement the scene. As a result, they are quickly becoming an institution in these parts. They were a great support to me this year and also presented the Volume Vs Voice record release show at Raw Sugar, here in Ottawa.
Those of you who follow my work or are involved with the Ottawa music scene in any way, will certainly know the name Ming Wu. His amazing photos and his tireless show-going energy is stuff of local legend. Ming is always so good to let me use his terrific photos as well. Plus, I owe him a vinyl copy of Volume Vs. Voice (I’m on it, Ming!)
I met the good folks behind this podcast when I was out west in Edmonton this summer. Subscribe and have a listen. They’ve been terrific champions of VVV this year.
When veteran and well respected Ottawa music lover and critic Peter Simpson compared me to Paul Westerberg, I was beyond flattered. I was also honoured to be listed along side these great records.
Stream Volume Vs. Voice:
.: Photo by meltingplastic .:
Review of ‘A Date With A Smoke Machine’ from Americana-UK:
Another Canadian… Another Great Record
“A thread in the Americana-UK forum late last year started to debate why Canada produces so much very good music. After a few suggestions (no X-Factor was one) it turned into a list of great Canadian musicians. Chris Page wasn’t on that list – he should be.
‘A Date with A Smoke Machine‘ has (and I’m using my broadest of broad brushes to paint this picture) two types of track: the acoustic track and the electric track. The beauty of this is that Page seems to have written each song with whatever was a hand at the time. If there was something to plug the Gretch he is holding on the back cover of the album into, then it was electric, if there wasn’t it was acoustic.
Page would seem to be the sort of guy who, if he were hungry, would wander down to the local grocery store with just a vague idea of want he wanted to eat, would have a look around to see what looked good then take it home and cook it. He’s not the sort who would ponder for hours over the latest celebrity chef’s book, make an extensive list then give up because he couldn’t get the right colour pepper. He has the ability to move from the tender folky acoustics of ‘Closets Overflowing’ to the rockiness of “Fall Back Morning” without missing a beat or breaking sweat.
‘A Date With A Smoke Machine’ with it’s mix of folk and rock and punk gets better and better with every listen: 9 out of 10” - John Hawes, March 2010
Chris Page Bio From Kelp Records:
A Marshall cabinet, speaker cloth spray-painted and torn, Cons six inches off the floor, a Townshend-heavy riff crashing down off the stage like a wrecking ball. This is how I first remember Chris Page, a small basement club somewhere in Ottawa, rock ‘n’ roll played as if life depended on it.
Now, years later, I take a walk with Page’s new solo album “A Date With a Smoke Machine.”
The crushing guitar of his legendary Glengarry punks The Stand GT or current alt-anthem machine Camp Radio only lurks at the corners here. Front and centre is Page’s songwriting, accompanied by acoustic guitars and noisy curios that sound plucked from dusty rec rooms. Plaintive, thoughtful, at times nostalgic, this is music that plays with memories of beginnings and endings, and might just be as crushing as a 100-watt wall of sound.
With a new Camp Radio album slotted for release in late 2010, high kicks and high volume will soon return to the Page camp. But in the meantime, “A Date With a Smoke Machine” is something we should take time to savour. Here, in story and in sound, we find a songwriter perfecting his craft. Here, layers peeled back, we find songs that need second and third listens, melodies to hum, words to remember.
.: Photo copyright Blurasis .:
Not only will the sexy, tormented voice of Chris Page make you melt, but that guitar work of his is pure greatness. A Date with a Smoke Machine is haunting. The songs cling to you as the memories that made them must cling to Page. And there isn’t a single letdown in the bunch. It’s poetic and moving and constantly surprising you with lyrics like, “I creep into your sleep with panic stricken song.” Page even provides the back story for each song, revealing that even his point of view is poetic. He borrowed a friend’s guitar while on tour and used it to write the introduction to a song. He admits, “I’m not sure if taking songs out of someone’s guitar is fair game.” All’s fair in love Chris, and I love this CD. It’s a new staple for road trips and lazy Sundays.
See Magazine, Edmonton
“Coax the Ending Day”
This standout from an upcoming solo album by one-third of the underappreciated Ottawa pop-punk band Camp Radio is so propulsive, it’s a shock to belatedly realize that the arrangement has no drums. If you can imagine a cross between Billy Bragg’s “Levi Stubbs’ Tears” and The Shins’ “Kissing the Lipless,” you’ll be about halfway there. (From A Date With a Smoke Machine, out Feb. 16, http://chrispage.bandcamp.com)
- John Sakamoto, Anti-Hit List
“The songs will stick with you…the pop sensibilities compliment the brilliant lyrics…”
– Ottawa Xpress
“When your head starts bobbing, you realize the 1:47 song (Two Twenty-Twos) is kind of like a musical Lay’s chip. You can’t listen just once.”
“…he doesn’t perform your garden-variety singer-songwriter solo material. It’s more mature-sounding pop, not completely removed from the poppy garage-ish stuff he did with The Stand GT.…he pounds his guitar and sings loudly, but mournfully barely keeping his guitar playing from going out of control.
– Keith Powell, shredmusic.com
“His stripped-down sound inevitably draws comparisons to early Billy Bragg, but Page’s voice is much smoother…”
- Phil Duperron, Edmonton
“It’s official, “Decide To Stay And Swim” is one of the best albums of 2003″
– Allan Wigney, Ottawa Sun